July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Part 2

(Continued from previous week)

The problem with the beef industry is grazing land. Israel is a small country and there is not enough rain and pasture. With an increasing population, eventually this problem needs to be solved, or more frozen meat will have to be imported.

Now let us see what we have. We have a self-sufficient dairy herd, and we have a beef herd that has the flexibility of increasing the available number of bulls by extracting from the dairy calf population. So, do we have a problem with insufficient number of bulls when Moshiach comes? No, I do not think so.

Now let us take a brief look at another problem that will have to be dealt with when Moshiach comes.

Because of the many voluntary korbonot we have no idea how many cattle will have to be brought from feedlots, farms and ranges to Jerusalem. But we can visualize that whatever the number, the present Israeli infrastructure would be severely taxed. I do not think that at the present time a single live animal, be it cattle or any of the other smaller animals is brought from anywhere into Jerusalem. Both large cattle trucks and large railroad cattle cars can be manufactured. But the highways that are being build now—can they withstand that heavy and constant truck traffic? Is the railroad construction being carried on now considering that increased heavy traffic? These are questions that would have to be looked into.

And how will the animals get to the holding pens near the Beth Hamikdash through the narrow streets of the city? Not in those huge overland 16-wheeler trucks. And railcars can also only get as far as the railhead, and then what? Have a bull-run though the narrow streets of Jerusalem?

On a related subject—the Israeli hide and skin industry. According to the Torah, the Cohen is to get some of the hides. What did he do with it in olden times? I assume there was no industry for it, but somehow they made leather locally I assume. What now? This industry in Palestine was always concentrated in Hebron and has always been in Arab hands. In 2015 there were 230 small, family-owned shoe factories being supplied by 12 tanneries. I was not able to find any information on Jewish-owned tanneries anywhere in Israel. The last I could find was a 2013 report that the market for wet salted hides was good and steady.

Before the establishment of Israel, caravans and traders would bring hides from Damascus, Beirut and Cairo to the Palestinian tanneries. Now the few remaining Palestinian tanneries face the risk of closure due to the Israeli restrictions. Until the second Intifada, tanneries in the West Bank received regular supplies from Gaza. Now those tanneries have access only to the limited local raw hides. Would the hides of the Cohanim supply the Palestinian tanneries? Would an Israeli industry eventually become a reality? Why do there not seem to be any (or many) Israeli tanneries now? I know one possible reason from my own experience. I worked for years, while I was in high school and college, in my father’s hides and skins business, and I can confirm that it is a dirty and smelly job. And tanneries are no different. With all the chemicals they use, the smell is bad, to say the least.

As I mentioned in Part 1, Rabbi Genack had no problem with the article except that he did not see where there would be a problem in the first place. He was more concerned with the Pesach lambs than with the bulls. I just see the problem the other way around. A lamb is relatively small, easily managed, non-combative and growing quickly in local pasture, and only one is needed per family or group of families. A bull on the other hand is exactly the opposite. And they are expensive. You don’t keep any spares around. If they are good, you use them or rent them out. If they are no good, they get castrated and become beef. Trucks or railcars would have to be compartmentalized to keep them apart. That increases the number of trucks or railcars needed. I worked on enough farms in my youth to be very alert to the danger of bulls, particularly when they have been kept away from cows for a while. And then what about damage to the animal in transit? You have to allow for shrinkage in order to end up still with 70 required for Sukkot, or to a lesser extend for Rosh Chodesh and Pesach.

With over 40 years of experience in logistics and transportation, I have seen many situations that were expected to be trouble free turn into an unexpected potential disasters. The above might seem free of problems, but like the generals planning a battle realize, the unforeseeable is bound to happen.

Therefore, will all due respect to Rabbi Genack, I see multiple problems. Can they be resolved? Yes. When Moshiach comes, with the help of Hashem.

I hope you have enjoyed my look into the future. Next week back to the past—or maybe present.

By Norbert Strauss

 

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